Google Plays Wireless Matchmaker
The Internet search giant, which has been dabbling in new wireless broadband access technologies, appears to have brought two of its protégés together. Ubiquisys and FON have started exploring how their technologies can be integrated so that users can share unused femtocell capacity in the same way that FON does with WiFi. (See Ubiquisys, FON Team Up, Ubiquisys Flush With Femto Funds, and Ubiquisys Rumor.)
FON has more than 1.5 million registered users and 650,000 Foneras out there. Its biggest markets are the U.K., France, and Japan. FON users share their excess WiFi capacity with other users and can then use FON access points (ahem, Foneras) anywhere they go, making a kind of big WiFi community.
Now, FON and Ubiquisys want to make that happen with femtocells -- allow users to share their excess 3G access capacity on the femto with other users.
It's very early days, though: The companies didn't share any firm plans for how such integration might work. But it's certainly an interesting twist in the whole WiFi vs.femto plot line.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung